When you think of wedding bands, gold or platinum most likely comes to mind. However, an increasingly popular material on the market is neither of these and happens to be far more affordable than both. If you're on the hunt for something that's bold and unique, tungsten carbide might be ideal.
What Is Tungsten Carbide?
Tungsten carbide is the result of combining or alloying carbon with tungsten, hard and dense metal with a high melting point. Tungsten carbide is a deep gray color in its untreated, natural state, but it can be polished, sandblasted, or carved to give it a wide range of finishing aesthetics.
“The best quality tungsten carbide rings include at least 80 percent tungsten,” says Blue Nile senior merchandiser Roxanna Rector. “This combination makes rings that are strong, hypoallergenic, tarnish-resistant, and that will maintain their polish for a lifetime.”
Ready to learn more about tungsten carbide rings? Read on to learn about the pros and cons of these ring metals and how to care for one.
Pros and Cons of Tungsten Carbide Rings
Tungsten carbide rings have a lot going for them. These affordable wedding bands (guidance) are significantly cheaper than gold or platinum, and they are hypoallergenic and scratch and tarnish resistant. so it will not give you a ring rash. Tungsten carbide is a hard, durable material that will remain polished virtually forever.
Of course, there are some shortcomings that coincide with purchasing a tungsten carbide ring. For starters, there’s a chance your supplier may be offering a ring with a purity level that is lower than 80 percent. Second, “because of its natural hardness properties, the ring is susceptible to cracking if dropped on a hard surface like cement or marble,” Rector notes.
And because tungsten isn’t malleable like gold, it can’t be resized. It’s also worth noting that tungsten carbide rings are typically heavy—though Rector says they are a comparable weight to platinum—which can be a plus or minus depending on your preference.
What to Look for in a Tungsten Carbide Ring
As previously noted, if you’re buying a tungsten carbide ring it’s important to find one that’s at least 80 percent tungsten.
- How can I tell if the ring is high quality? “At this purity, it is 10x harder than 18k gold and has a weight that’s substantial and luxurious, similar to platinum rings,“ Rector says. Sometimes sellers will use an expensive filler in place of tungsten, causing the value and integrity of the ring to diminish.
- Can tungsten carbide rings be resized? Because tungsten carbide rings are incredibly hard, they cannot be resized. “Consider buying your regular size as well as a half size up and keep the one that fits the best,” she notes. “If you buy a ring 6mm or wider, you may need a slightly larger size than what a ring sizer will tell you due to how much of your finger the ring will cover.”
How to Care for a Tungsten Carbide Ring
Because tungsten carbide rings are so durable, they require little to no maintenance. “The most important way to care for Tungsten rings is to ensure you don’t drop them on hard surfaces such as marble or cement, as they can crack and be difficult to repair,” Rector says.
Ahead, scroll through 20 sleek and modern tungsten carbide wedding rings.
Blue Nile Comfort Fit Wedding Band
This tungsten carbide is a sleek and industrial option for the modern bridal aesthetic. The minimalistic design is best for any groom.
Price at time of publish: $250
Thorsten Rings HONOR Gold Plated Tungsten Beveled Ring
The gold brushed finish on this 1.6mm ring gives it an elevated finish. Plus, the beveled edges add a subtly unique touch of detail.
Price at time of publish: $280
Little King Jewelry Isabella Domed White Tungsten Wedding Band
Add a bit of sparkle to your Tungsten Carbide ring with this sleek yet striking piece. Featuring three simple diamonds, you simply can't go wrong with a band like this.
Price at time of publish: $700
Gaboni Jewelers MIDA Round Black Tungsten Wedding Band
There’s something oh-so-cool about a black band, no? Dark and moody, this ring has an edgy aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $176
Little King Jewelry Sol Traditional Domed Rose Gold Plated Tungsten Wedding Band
Rose gold is always a good idea for a wedding band. This selection from Little King Jewelers has gold plated tungsten for exceptional durability and paired with Little King's craftsmanship.
Price at time of publish: $280
Blue Nile Comfort Fit Gray Wedding Band
If shiny metals aren’t your thing, this gray-hued Tungsten ring may fit the bill. The comfort design offers a seamless fit while exuding an industrial and masculine look.
Price at time of publish: $250
Little King Jewelry Samara Tungsten Wedding Band with Ash Wood Inlay
If you're searching for a non-traditional ring for men, then a light wood inlay is a unique option. This band fuses ash wood on top of the tungsten, which creates a contrasting balance between the two materials.
Price at time of publish: $406
Triton Jewelry Tungsten Carbide Ring
Do you love the look of yellow gold? Then, this band is for you. Plated with a satin finish, this band made of tungsten carbide has a stunning design with impeccable damage resistance. The step edge gives the ring sophisticated detail.
Price at time of publish: $205
James Allen White Tungsten Carbide Bright Step Band
This band has white tungsten carbide, which gives it a timeless and classic look. Aside from the impeccable design details, this ring is crafted with technology in mind—the band contains 85% tungsten carbide—making it a high-quality ring.
Price at time of publish: $170
Jared 8mm Wedding Band Tungsten Carbide Black PVD
Simplicity doesn't equal boring. This band with a black matte finish is bold and distinct. Sleek and modern, a piece like this is still eye-catching.
Price at time of publish: $300
Modern Gents Trading Co. The Elite Ring
As its name suggests, this ring looks elite. Rose gold breaks up the dark tungsten color and adds a warm glow to the ring. The band is thicker to add a comfortable fit.
Price at time of publish: $200
JewelryByFordos Meteorite Titanium Wedding Ring
This tungsten ring is made to imitate a meteorite. Instead of just a simple tungsten ring, opt for a ring with special textured details like this.
Price at time of publish: $326 for 8 US, 3mm/3/32 inch
Larson Jewelers Waterford Beveled Diamond Tungsten Wedding Band
For extra shine, choose a band that has a stone. This .06 carat round-cut diamond band pairs nicely with the white gold bezel on the ring. The best feature of the band? Although it's lighter in color, it won't show scratches thanks to the tungsten carbide's natural durability.
Price at time of publish: $930
Gaboni Jewelers VICO Black Men's Tungsten Wedding Ring
This ring is full of focal points. The center of the band has intricate details like a stainless steel finish center that is embellished with cubic zirconium diamonds. The beveled edges elevate the ring to look like a high polished and elegant band.
Price at time of publish: $309
Meet the Expert
- Roxanna Rector is the Senior Buyer for engagement and bridal rings at Blue Nile.